At Faith Village, we’ve devoted the entire year of Sunday morning adult Bible classes to studying the Gospel of Mark as a congregation, in what we’re calling, “Journey with Jesus”. We’re only four weeks into the journey, but each week is eye-opening, spiritually- challenging, and faith-deepening.
This morning, we’re looking again at that powerful story of a paralytic who was brought on a mat to Jesus for healing in Mark chapter 2. We can only assume that he knew Jesus had the power to heal. His four “pallbearers” carrying him on the mat knew Jesus had the power as well, and so they carried their friend in faith. They even overcame tremendous obstacles to get that man to Jesus. There was a large crowd in the house—such a large crowd that they had to climb up to the roof, dig through the tiles, and lower the man to Jesus. But their effort produced the desired effects. The man would be cured, but interestingly enough, before the healing actually took place, Jesus said, “Son, your sins are forgiven” (Mark 2:5).
Well, the Pharisees and teachers of the law were present, Jesus’ biggest critics. And their hearts were so cold—their minds were so stubborn—they ignored the discussion of a miracle but honed in on Jesus’ statement about forgiving sins. “Who does He think He is?” they said amongst themselves. “He can’t do that—no one can forgive sins, except God alone!” (Mark 2:7) Which actually was a correct statement! The only problem was that they refused to admit Jesus was God. Well, Jesus closes the story by saying, “But that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins, I tell you, get up, take your mat and go home” (Mark 2:10-11). And the paralytic did. Everyone in the house praised God. Except the Pharisees and teachers of the law—who were once again proved wrong in disgust.
Yet, there’s one little detail in the story about the Pharisees and teachers of the law that can easily get overlooked, but it cuts us to the core if we really think about what its saying. Mark tells us in Mark 2:8, “Immediately Jesus knew in his spirit that this was what they were thinking in their hearts…” Did you catch that? Immediately Jesus knew. Mark explains in verse 7 that the Pharisees and teachers of the law weren’t even having this conversation vocally, they were just mentally thinking it to themselves—and Jesus STILL KNEW. Why? Because He’s Omniscient. He’s Omnipresent. He’s God. He knew then. He still knows today.
We often harbor negative feelings or pass harsh judgments that we think only we know. We go through the motions of worship thinking about our brother or sister in a hurtful way, disguising it with four part harmony. And then we soothe the conscience by telling ourselves, “This is my secret.” But it isn’t. God heard it. God witnessed it. And God knew it, even before it happened. What a humbling thought.
Solomon wrote in Proverbs 27:19, “As water reflects a face, so a man’s heart reflects that man.” When we ask God to listen to our heart, we’re making a pretty serious request. Are you happy with what God is hearing, because what you’re thinking or feeling says a lot about your character. And remember, Jesus immediately knows, even if you think it’s top secret.